Around Campus, Dec. 7
A look at Campus Life at Various Community and Junior Colleges
Henry Ford College (Mich.) recently welcomed back Grammy-winning recording artist and music producer Noel Fisher, known professionally in the music industry as Detail. Detail recently visited the college, where he spoke with students and also received a recording from HFC students and alumni for his rendition of the holiday song “The First Noel” for his Christmas CD “Detail Presents Noel.” A Detroit native, Detail is no stranger to HFC. He attended the college from 1998-2002, where he took music and telecommunication courses. When he needed a classical version of “The First Noel,” his first thought was the HFC Music Department, according to Detail’s former teacher Randall Knight, HFC associate dean, social science, arts and fitness. While on campus, Detail spoke with HFC recording studio students about what it takes to make it in the music business. According to Knight, Detail’s visit was timely since HFC is offering a new one-year Recording Arts Certificate Program beginning in the winter 2016 semester. The students Detail spoke to are already taking classes that will apply toward the certificate. Detail has been active in the music scene since late 2005. He gained recognition as a producer when collaborating with R&B singer Ray J to produce the majority of Ray J’s third album “Raydiation.” He has also worked with other renowned musical artists, most notably Beyoncé, Ashanti, Jennifer Lopez, R. Kelly, Lady Gaga, Brandy, Christina Aguilera, Lil Wayne, the Pussycat Dolls and Snoop Dogg.
The Julian Bliss Septet, comprising some of Britain’s top jazz musicians, honors the legendary Benny Goodman’s influence in a program featuring some of the greatest tunes of the swing era. Staying true to the authentic feel but with a modern twist, Bliss leads a septet of fellow Goodman enthusiasts in a program of swing tunes by Goodman and other luminaries of the era at Macomb Center for the Performing Arts at Macomb Community College (Mich.) on Jan. 31. After his first trip to New York City at seven years old, Bliss took home one particularly meaningful souvenir: a CD of Benny Goodman’s greatest hits. That recording would go on to have enormous influence on Bliss’s musical career. In the liner notes to his 2012 album A Tribute to Benny Goodman, Bliss writes: “As a classical clarinetist in the making — learning the ins and outs of stage etiquette and composure, I couldn’t help but stare at that man on the front cover, reeling back, clarinet in the air, grin on his face, breaking a ll the rules.” To create the arrangements for the recording and program, Bliss teamed up with pianist Neal Thornton, who had been similarly drawn to Goodman as a young student. The two listened to hundreds of tracks of Goodman and others performing the great music of their time, marveling at their apparently effortless virtuosity and ensemble playing. Bliss and Thornton ultimately selected a range of tunes representing both the classic Goodman sextet lineup and the big band tradition, and put together a band that included drums, bass, guitar, vibes, and trumpet, in addition to clarinet and piano.